Complex thoughts and textures

Minimalistic in style  

Artist Arshad Hakim’s art works can be described as organized and yet, chaotic. This contrast was exactly what he says he had in mind when he began with this collection. Revolving around the idea of schizophrenics, Arshad’s works borrowed from the concepts of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in Capitalism and Schizophrenia, a two-volume work by the duo.

The exhibits, which were on display at 1, Shanti Road recently, received a positive response for the unconventional techniques used. The artist had used straight, angular lines, the perceived unevenness of texture in photographs and rust strands in his works.

“I choose three or four material to work with. I just kept playing with them; there is no fixed way of doing it,” Arshad explains.

Apart from photographic images and drawing by hand, he has used tea and coffee stains to experiment with different textures. “These elements can give unexpected results.” The textural surfaces in the photos were meant to denote skin, he adds. “The word ‘texture’ is instantly associated with skin which, in turn, signifies body. This makes the entire viewing experience visceral. To signify time, I superimposed transfers of rust on paper.”

Featuring an image of static and a video showing a glitch, his exhibition also portrayed the interference between communicating signals. The photographs of textures from nature, such as images of tree barks, were printed, cut into pieces and treated with paint. This was later used on archival paper, to which Arshad added other elements such as lines, curves or stains. His love for minimal colours was evident in the almost monochromatic nature of his works.

The exhibits were accompanied by related quotes from Deleuze and Guattari’s work. “The text and the image form a connection. They talk about the picture, and yet, they don’t. This contradiction is similar to the condition of schizophrenia.” Arshad’s fascination with the psychological disorder stems from the way he perceives it. “I don’t see it as a pathological condition. I think it’s a situation our entire society goes through.” Factors such as how we deal with the huge amount of influx and out flux, and what we do about it play a role in this situation.”

Arshad had been working on the idea for the past two years. “When I read the works by Deleuze and Guattari, I realised that they are talking about what I’m trying to do.” The Ahmedabad-based artist is currently pursuing a MFA from Shiv Nadar University, New Delhi.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 6:49:45 AM |

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